IT professionals should take advantage of gaining employment in the cybersecurity sector, as job vacancies in this segment are estimated to reach around 3.5 million in the next two years.
Many employers from the private and public sector are willing to pay a premium for the right candidates because of the shortage of skilled talents. In the U.S., there are roughly more than a million positions that wait to be filled, according to Will Carter from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. If you are in between jobs or simply want to switch careers, having the right qualifications will be important to join the field.
Gain Industry Certification
Almost anyone with the right attitude could start a career in cybersecurity, although IT professionals have the advantage in terms of education and experience. Certification bolsters your credentials since some employers are very specific on what they expect from successful candidates. Some of the common industry certificates include the CompTIA Security+, in which a practice test or training exercise can help you ace the exam.
Aside from certification, ask your employer if they offer apprenticeship programs for aspiring cybersecurity workers. Companies are willing to groom existing personnel to fill the gap, which can be less expensive than directly hiring new staff. Even if you decide not to pursue a career in cybersecurity, being certified makes you more attractive to a wide network of employers and may even help in negotiating a higher compensation.
While the shortage of workers means that you have the upper hand in salary negotiations, your actual pay will depend on where you live and your job title. Cybersecurity engineers are likely to earn more than cybersecurity analysts. Hence, picking a specific field will determine your compensation.
Silicon Valley remains one of the best places for IT professionals. A cybersecurity engineer could earn an annual salary of more than $120,000 there, while those in New York and Washington, D.C., may earn over $110,000 per year.
Why Demand Is Strong
Some experts said that organized crime today has become more complex as it shifted to the digital world, which led to the rise of several risks to confidential and sensitive information. Ransomware, espionage and disruption of critical infrastructure are some of these threats that undermine national security.
Another reason for the lack of qualified workers involves cybersecurity’s intimidating nature. Some people think that they need to be experts with computer technologies. In reality, some employers are looking to hire people who possess more than having certification and experience. You only need to be fond of solving problems, be willing to collaborate with others and be smart enough to understand how effective cybersecurity should take place.
Certification is important to get your foot in the door. When choosing a niche in cybersecurity, those who are tasked in preventing cyberattacks and other criminal activities are among the most in-demand professionals. As hackers become more creative, employers in different industries want their systems and manpower to be updated at the same time.